While many of us are highly motivated to spring clean our personal property, we’re often less proactive about having an annual insurance policy review. However, the practice of reviewing your insurance policies and coverage every twelve months is recommended by financial experts as the best way to keep your coverage current and to ensure that you have the protection you need for your assets and your family.
Working with one of our professional insurance agents, an annual insurance policy review really doesn’t take much time, but it’s a critical part of keeping your home, auto, and life insurance plans optimized for your specific needs. The following are some of the key areas that should be part of an annual insurance policy review:
Homeowners insurance: Make sure your coverage keeps pace with home improvements
Given that spring is a busy time for home improvements, it is prudent to ensure that your home is not only looking great, but that any investments you make in it are adequately protected in case unexpected damage occurs. During an annual insurance policy review, your insurance professional will help you determine how much insurance coverage you need to replace your home in the event that it is destroyed. It is important to remember that your home’s replacement value is not the same as its market value, which can fluctuate greatly. Always let your insurance professional know of any big changes or additions you make that add value to your home.
In addition, while you’re cleaning out your garage, basement and other areas of your home, it’s a good idea to update the inventory of home possessions you maintain—or if you do not have a list of all of the items in your home, take the opportunity to create one. This inventory will be invaluable in the event that your home and its contents are affected by a fire, natural disaster or burglary. If you have valuables that exceed your home policy limits such as paintings, jewelry or collectibles, you may also want to consider an insurance rider to ensure they are protected.
Automobile insurance: Review your policy to make sure you’re not paying more than necessary
Like your home, the cars you own or lease and the people who drive them often change over the course of the year. That’s why it’s important to determine whether your car insurance needs a tune-up in relation to how many and what kind of vehicles and drivers you need to insure. Touching base with an insurance professional will help you make sure that your collision and comprehensive auto insurance policies are adequate and up-to-date and that you are getting the best possible insurance value, given your specific situation.
Umbrella liability insurance: Close the gaps in your insurance coverage
As you review your home and auto insurance policies, you may wish to consider an umbrella liability policy. Financial experts agree that one of the biggest gaps in many Americans’ personal financial plans is the lack of umbrella liability insurance. This type of insurance is designed to cover costs that exceed the limits on traditional home, auto and watercraft insurance—preventing you from being burdened by potentially catastrophic financial losses. You can learn more about umbrella liability insurance by reading our previous post on this topic. An insurance professional can help you determine if umbrella liability insurance makes sense for you.
Life insurance: Take a fresh look at securing your financial future
Life insurance is intended to insure you and your family against the financial loss or hardship that someone would experience should your life end. If you’re a new parent, or the parent of young children, and you don’t have life insurance, then your annual insurance review should certainly address this deficiency in order help you create a financial safeguard for your growing family. If you own your own business or you and your spouse are retired and a substantial portion of your income will be lost when one of you passes away, then you should consider reviewing your life insurance options, too.
Cleaning out your closets, your car, and your home is a great way to feel rejuvenated during the spring season. By taking a fresh look at your overall insurance picture during your cleaning spree you’ll be assured that you have the appropriate coverage and that all of your newly refreshed assets are protected. Ready for your annual insurance policy review? Contact one of our insurance professionals today.
About the Author:
Erica Huck is a member of the Personal Service Team in Adrian. Erica joined Kemner Iott Benz in 2014 and has been a great asset to the agency. Erica enjoys baking, scrapbooking, vacationing at the beach, shopping and spending time with family.